Dome Traps the Heat: California Is Baking

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From San Diego to Sacramento, California is under an excessive heat warning that could extend into next week.  The National Weather Service calls it “dangerously hot conditions.”

The manager of the state’s power grid, called for a Flex alert on Wednesday that most likely will continue through the weekend. Consumers are urged to conserve as much electricity as possible from 4 to 9 p.m. and urged not to charge electrical cars during that time and keep thermostats set at 78 degrees or higher.

A high-pressure system over California and Nevada will trap heat, similar to an insulated dome, and will likely result in high-temperature records.  It was predicted that Woodland Hills could reach 105 on Thursday and reach 110 by Sunday.

Pacific Palisades, which has temperatures generally in the 70s in the summer, reached 91 degrees on Wednesday and was a balmy 85 on Thursday at 5 p.m. The hottest days are predicted for Saturday, Sunday and Monday, but the 10-day weather forecast looks like the heat won’t start to dissipate until Thursday, September 8.

UCLA climate scientist Daniel Swain told the L.A. Times that “When you’re inside of a high-pressure system, particularly a strong one, you generally have downward motion in the atmosphere, as opposed to upward motion … and that suppresses clouds,” Swain said. “It results in clear skies, so you get more solar radiation, more warming of the surface.

If you must be outside, reschedule exercise or other strenuous activities to early morning or evening. Be aware that heat exhaustion or even heat stroke is possible. This might be a good time to take a week off.

Additionally, people are warned that excessive alcohol consumption in hot weather, can lead to dehydration. And dehydration can lead to confusion, lethargy and problems with your breathing and heart rate.

Drinking alcohol can increase dehydration during heat spells.

According to the Cleveland Clinic (“The Risks of Mixing Alcohol and Summer Heat”), “To counteract the dehydration risk of alcohol, drink 8 to 12 ounces of water for every alcoholic drink,” dietitian Julia Zumpano said. “It slows your alcohol intake, keeps you hydrated and can mitigate negative hangover effects.”

 

HEAT EXHAUSTION SYMPTOMS:

  1. Faint or dizzy,
  2. Excessive sweating
  3. Cool, pale, clammy skin
  4. Nausea, vomiting
  5. Rapid, weak pulse
  6. Muscle cramps

What to do:

  1. Moved to a cooler location
  2. Drink water
  3. Take a cool shower or use cold compresses.

HEAT STROKE SYMPTOMS:

  1. Throbbing headache
  2. No sweating
  3. Body temperature above 103
  4. Nausea, vomiting
  5. Rapid, strong pulse
  6. May lose consciousness

How to Treat it:

  1. Get Emergency help
  2. Keep cool until treated

 

 

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